note: i’m over “new year’s” blog posts. i’ve done it, i’ve seen countless others do it, and i think it’s pretty tired. kind of like resolutions. they are so empty, and why wait until 1/1/12 to start doing things that you want to do, or not doing things that you don’t want to do?
so i had no intention of doing a new year’s type post. and yet, what i have been mulling to write about next turns out to have an obvious new year’s corollary. c’est la vie! it’s still a good topic, and what’s been on my mind lately.
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. – C.S. Lewis
the last psychiatrist i saw asked me if i had any dreams for the future. i hate that question. having been so sick for so long, all i can think to dream about is to feel better, so that i can envision being well enough to accomplish dreams. i told the doctor that i feel like a man with a gangrenous leg: the leg has to be addressed before he can run a marathon. his dream to run a marathon can’t be achieved until the illness is addressed. and so my dreams are about being well so that i have the energy, etc. to dream.
he didn’t seem to get that. it seemed like he was judging me, like he thought i was failing because i didn’t have dreams beyond wellness at this point. needless to say, i’m not going back.
but, dreams are something i think about.
i’m 36, and i’ll be 37 in less than four months. it’s easy to think that my life can’t really change and that i’ll just be as i am until i die. same job, same relationships, etc. and that can be kind of a bummer. i certainly didn’t picture myself in this place at this point in my life.
but honestly, i don’t know what to dream about. certainly, my younger self thought i’d be married with babies by now. but the me that i am now is not so sure about that stuff. i think i’d like to be married some day, but i know it will be hard and that the older i get, the less likely it will be. and babies! my body is ensuring that biologically at least, babies are less and less of a possibility, and i don’t even know if i’ll ever be ready to be someone’s mom. i know enough now to be frightened of it! 🙂
i sure hope i’m not in retail for the rest of my life, but i don’t know what i really want to do for a career. i can’t imagine going back to school, and i’m not sure what i’d study if i could make it work.
am i a loser because i don’t know what to dream about? because my dreams aren’t so specific?
i have seen the movie Julie and Julia twice in the last few months. i love the story of julia child. she was 34 when she got married, which was scandalously old in 1946. and her marriage was delayed most likely because she was off adventuring and living life instead of looking for a husband. she went to smith college and worked for years writing and working in advertising.
at 6’2″ she was too tall to join the Women’s Army Corps (WACs) or the U.S. Navy’s WAVES, so she instead joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) (the predecessor to the CIA). she started as a typist, but was soon a top secret researcher for the head of the OSS. she went to sri lanka and managed a vast amount of top secret communication. while in sri lanka, she met her husband, paul, who was almost 11 years her senior.
she and paul went to paris with his government posting and he gave julia her first cookbook when she was 37. read that again: julia child got her first cookbook when she was 37. THE julia child, the french chef, didn’t start cooking until she was 37!
she lived this fabulously interesting life, and THEN went on to find a passion in cooking at 37. so many of us, so much of our culture thinks that by that point our lives are set in stone by then and aren’t going to change much. but julia child reinvented her life entirely, because it never occurred to her not to.
i’m not even 37 yet! surely there is time for my life to change, too. julia gives me great hope that my career, my earthly passions could still be waiting to be discovered and aren’t limited by my age.
but more than that, i’m not going to let society tell me what kind of dreams i should have. the biggest dreams in my life aren’t tangible; they don’t have to do with work, or wealth or position or status. this world says i’m supposed to want to be rich or powerful or respected or famous, but those things to me are at most side benefits in this world. the things i really dream about aren’t tangible, or measurable.
- of consistent wellness and mental balance
- of knowing Jesus more,
- about more of my life being dedicated to Him,
- of being more like Him,
- of more consistently showing love to the people around me,
- of complaining less and being grateful more,
- of letting go of anger and hate and unforgiveness,
- of dying to myself and living for Christ,
- of freedom from all the trappings of a self-centered existence.
are those really less valuable things to dream about?
i hope i dream about them every moment until the dreams come true.